Planning on being present for a home inspection? You may be wondering how long the inspection is going to take, and whether or not you need to be there for it. Here are some factors to consider:
Age, location, and total square footage (sqft) of the home are all factors that need to be taken in determining the time needed for an inspection. Obviously, a smaller new condo is going to be quicker than an 8000 sqft mansion with multiple outbuildings. As another example, it may take less time to inspect a 4000 sqft home that is 5 years old versus a 1500 sqft home that is 95 years old.
Every Home Inspector will differ in their methods for inspecting a specific home. Is there one inspector onsite or is there a team? Some states dictate how an inspection will be conducted while other states are not regulated at all. In Colorado, for example, there isn’t a state license for home inspectors. It is important to verify your inspector is at least certified through an organization like InterNachi and has some experience inspecting homes. Newer inspection software programs allow report building on a smartphone or tablet, and can oftentimes be completed and delivered immediately. Likewise, there are “old-school” inspectors that take pictures and move quickly around the home, and spend some time writing the report later.
A full home inspection is often only part of the work being completed. Are there additional services being conducted at the same time? A sewer scope inspection can add an additional 15-45 minutes. A mold test can add 1-2 hours. Lastly, testing for Radon Gas may only add 15 minutes to the inspection time but there will need to be another trip to pick up the testing devices a few days later.
Considering the many factors involved, what is the actual average time of a home inspection? At Green Door Home Inspections, a typical 3bed/3bath 3000 sqft home with a basement and an attached garage, we are averaging 2.5-3 hours onsite. We use modern reporting software that allows us to quickly add video and pictures within the report and have everything sent to our clients same day. While we encourage our clients to be present for the entire inspection, it is not required. For about 40% of our inspections, we are by ourselves at the home. We have found that a good balance is to have our clients arrive with about 20-30 minutes left in the inspection to chat and go over a summary of findings before the report is sent out.